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Thread: misc PAIRS grumblings

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    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    misc PAIRS grumblings

    Zhangs - I really hope she recovers and has a long illustrious career. I admire her fortitude and courage and his supportiveness and care. This, does not however change the fact that attempting a throw quad in the olys was not a wise move (i'm being very restrained here). Is this something they've been trying in competition? Have they been hitting it in practice? Where did it come from? Why are they trying the quad without getting the 3ax first?
    Marks were a joke and if someone wants to look at this critically we could have another SLC on our hands. The PCS were way higher than they should be. He was visibly concerned about her (quite rightly but it distracted from their presentation ... a lot) and they were rough anything resembling interpretation disappeared as they tried to just get thru the thing. Emotional yes, great skating? I don't think so. And, they received credit for a throw triple salchow? How is that possible?

    Shen/Zhao - not the cleanest but they have the most charisma of any team, who'd've thunk it four years ago? I won't say anything more.

    Totmianina/Marinin - The most boring pairs gold medalists in 22 years! Brought to you by one of those same boring pairs gold medalists from 22 years ago!
    No, wait! She's finally showing emotions in public .... she tries joy "happy, happy, happy" but castes this off and settles for .... Pettiness! Asked about the Chinese misfortune she says "Serves 'em right!" (not her exact words but the impression she created). During the ceremony, after perfunctory one-armed hugs of the bronze medalists she stiff-arm handshakes the Zhangs for about one micro-second. Nothing like a sore winner. He, however, shows a lot of class and has the good grace to look embarassed about her.
    Yes, their program was awesome technically, but her behavior afterwards left a bad taste in my mouth. I usually expect oly medalists to go to worlds, but in this case I'll make an exception.

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    Why is this becoming a T&M bashing thread? I don't find them boring at all. I love the way they stroke across, and hold their edges, lines, extensions. They were in a class by themselves in both SP and LP. Considering what they have been through, this was a phenomenal achievement for T&M. I am not only thrilled for them but I am filled with admiration for them. Naturally they and their coach were emotional at the end. It was heart warming to me.

    I certainly admired the courage of the little Zhang girl, but as far as skating goes they really don't have anything beyond big tricks. This pairs is still developing and I believe they were overmarked (particularly the tech score). I would have placed Shen & Zhao above them. Although S&Z were rusty, they were better skaters with more intricate hand hold positions, better stroking, and better overall performance. Still, T&M were the indisputable champions and my hat's off to them. I really like their skating and I don't like the hateful tone of some posts here.

    Vash

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    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    Still, T&M were the indisputable champions and my hat's off to them. I really like their skating and I don't like the hateful tone of some posts here.
    Vash
    They outskated everyone else and deserved the win, true. But I didn't care for her behavior towards the Zhangs afterwards. It's the first emotion I've ever had toward them* so I'm going to savor it.

    *actually toward her, his behavior was above reproach

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke
    They outskated everyone else and deserved the win, true. But I didn't care for her behavior towards the Zhangs afterwards. It's the first emotion I've ever had toward them* so I'm going to savor it.

    *actually toward her, his behavior was above reproach
    Well maybe give people the benefit of the doubt...i watched the same interview with her afterwads and thought she looked elated. I don't think her reaction to the Zhang's fall was "it served them right" i think you've really misinterpreted that one. Perhaps if you were asked to to conduct an interview in a language that wasn't your mother tongue, you might struggle to get a level of emotion acceptable to everyone watching too.

    T&M i think outclassed every pair out there, their fluidity of movement and unison was untouchable - not another pair on teh ice had the unisons they had. I'm not usually moved by their programs at all but i loved their music choices for this season and i loved the way she was grinning at him inanely every time they made eye contact after the last throw was landed...the best was the grin she flashed him as she went down into the shoot the duck for the finl death spiral.

    The zhangs i think deserved some kind of award for carrying on after that horrific fall on the attempted quad...and the judges obviously agreed by giving them the silver medals when i think they deserved to be off the podium or at the very best with the bronze medal...this is a travesty and the fac their tech score was nearly the same as the russians with no successfully landed thrown jump and him falling to pieces on teh SBS spins...its insulting to the Russians that such flawed program could technically be anywhere near to them, and a huge insult to Shen & Zhao who skated a much better program than the Zhangs.

    Mafke - for the record very few pairs have tried to train the throw triple axel with a greater proprtion training throw quads because some people just dislike the forward take off for the axel. Some couples go straight onto throw triples chosing to skip the throw double axel for that very reason therefore for some moving straight onto the quads makes sense.

    Ant

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    Why is this becoming a T&M bashing thread?
    I will never understand that too...

    To certain posters:
    Why not show respect to TT/MM instead of bashing them?

    Tatiana and Maxim have won the OGM with two amazing flawless performances. Through years, they have mastered the perfection of "skating as one" as well as unique and exquisite style. And they are unmatched in this.

    You find excellence boring? - OK, just don't blame them for it.

    They are great athletes who showed devotion to the sport and to each other after all they have been through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    I don't find them boring at all. I love the way they stroke across, and hold their edges, lines, extensions. They were in a class by themselves in both SP and LP. Considering what they have been through, this was a phenomenal achievement for T&M. I am not only thrilled for them but I am filled with admiration for them. Naturally they and their coach were emotional at the end. It was heart warming to me.
    My thoughts exactly.

  6. #6
    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb
    Well maybe give people the benefit of the doubt... I don't think her reaction to the Zhang's fall was "it served them right" i think you've really misinterpreted that one. Perhaps if you were asked to to conduct an interview in a language that wasn't your mother tongue, you might struggle to get a level of emotion acceptable to everyone watching too.
    --
    - for the record very few pairs have tried to train the throw triple axel ....

    Ant
    Ant, I live in an non-English environment and am very familiar with getting the point across appropriately (i'm a translator among other things) and know to give the benefit of a doubt (I've taught courses in cross cultural communication). I've defended a number unfortunate expressions by skaters trying to speak English and know the hazards that blunt eastern european speaking styles pose in English. My reaction here is _still_ that she was saying in effect 'they brought it on themselves'. (maybe reinforced by chilly handshake at the podium). I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.
    But enough of that, I'm almost over it and rapidly retreating back to my usual uninterested state regarding them. I will say that in purely skating terms, it was the best performance by anyone in ages and I don't think even a completely healthy S/Z would have beaten it. Nor would any of the performances from 2002 (to start more potential controversy).

    The tech scores for Z/Z were bad enough but their PCS were horribly, horribly inflated, barely below S/Z??? or (russian) P/T???? Either the judges have moved on to crystal meth (smoking crack is so last Tuesday) or have no idea yet what the PCS are supposed to do. Skating bravely thru an injury is not interpretation or choreography (not to mention the technical bobbles).

    Thanks for information on the throw 3 ax problems. Stupid me would think that a throw axel would be easier than a triple because of the forward take off (don't ask me why, I just thought somehow ...), but there's a lot I don't know.

    I'm also thinking of solo ladies who were gung ho about trying to get a quad salchow when they don't have a 3ax or quad toeloop ....

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Jaime said on Olympic Ice that she thought no one would ever do a 3ax throw successfully and that she had interviewed a lot of the Olympic pairs' ladies about it and most said they would be afraid to even try it. She said the takeoff with the man having to be in the way was 'the most awkward thing' in pair skating. So that's why Shen and Zhao went for the 4S th at Salt Lake and Zhang and Zhang went for the 4S th in Turin rather than going for the 3A th at all. Both these tricks are scary hard.

    I was not happy with any of the performances tonight and I'm going to just go soak my head and try to recover. And here I thought I had missed Skating with Celebrities. Strange stuff and blood and guts.

    It's ironic that I&B got their appropriate PCS for this program rather than their SP (skating skills 6.96). It's strange to think they would have been in 4th going into the long if they had, but would still have finished in 7th either way. Still, good for them for getting a personal best in both the SP and LP and finishing the highest they ever have in World level competition at Olympics and for making history. I rewatched their LP program and found that it wasn't as bad as I had first thought--I was mentally comparing it to their great LP program at Nationals. I hope they go to worlds and skate their SP as at Turin and LP as at St. Louis. They need to keep the 2 spots open so Nam & Leftheris have a chance to go next year!!. Does anyone know whether they are retiring this year?

    Poor T&M got upstaged on the short by John and Rena and then got upstaged on the long by the Zhangs ER drama. I can't believe that she went out and landed the 2A3t after that horrific fall. I have to run my tape back and watch them again...

    T&M-it always bores me when someone picks to do lower tech level stuff than the best and wins, particularly when skating carefully and not too inspiringly. I also really, really love great lifts and T&M don't have them. I still prefer their Ave Maria short and their Art on Ice long to either of their programs this year, and this was not their best performance of their LP. They are better when the theme of the program is not supposed to be romantic drama R&J yet, and the subtext of their Snowstorm program was supposed to be romantically freezing to death, but I thought (never having heard the story till after the program) they were two frost sprites spreading snow. But they surely did deserve the win.,
    BUT they are not a patch on the pants of either Jaime and David or Elena and Anton. Go view your Salt Lake 2002 tapes again. Elena and Anton's Oly SP is still the best SP I have ever seen. And both their LP's were better than T&M's. Sorry, but it's so. I do not predict that they will unseat any of the 3 SOI pairs.

    And what has happened to O&S...and the judges have finally dumped them too. Will someone please tell me who the Russian pair for 2010 is going be...It is apparent the O&S are not it unless they make huge changes...

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke

    Thanks for information on the throw 3 ax problems. Stupid me would think that a throw axel would be easier than a triple because of the forward take off (don't ask me why, I just thought somehow ...), but there's a lot I don't know.

    I'm also thinking of solo ladies who were gung ho about trying to get a quad salchow when they don't have a 3ax or quad toeloop ....
    Its the toe picks that are scary...after the initial learning to skate i think most skaters tend to prefer going backwards because if you slip/hit a rut/anything untoward happens while you're going backwards if your weight pitches forward the worst thing that happens is you catch a toe pick and slow down, if you pitch backwards you can use the heel of the blade to control the trip and /or unweight the problem foot and use the non tripping foot to get out of trouble. if you're going forwards and anything untoward happens and your weight pitches forwards 9/10 you're a goner - its face plant for sure. On the rare occassions that you save it you can toe dance a bit and get it back but its very difficult, those picks (especailly the size of teh ones used in free skating as opposed to dance) will get you every time. Setting up the axel is tough because fo teh forward take off and because you can easily slip off the back of the blade (a waxel) which invariably results in hitting the back of your head on the ice.

    Since the salchow and the axel are considered similar jumps but for the forward and backward take off difference a lot of skaters feel safer doing the backwards entrance on the salchow.

    Ant

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    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI
    T&M... But they surely did deserve the win.,
    BUT they are not a patch on the pants of either Jaime and David or Elena and Anton. Go view your Salt Lake 2002 tapes again. ...
    And what has happened to O&S...and the judges have finally dumped them too. Will someone please tell me who the Russian pair for 2010 is going be...It is apparent the O&S are not it unless they make huge changes...
    Maybe I should go back and look at SLC again. I sort of remember B/S being sort of sloppy (for them it was a relatively new program I think) and S/P's program was easier (realtively speaking). I'd agree that T/M are going to have to change something to thrive in post eligible skating. I thought their performance was remarkable in lots of ways, just not charismatic.
    O/S - yeah, the judges aren't happy with them and they don't seem that (if any) worse this year than last. I do wish they'd dump the throw 3flip, it looks awkward ...... I think worlds will tell a lot as to how much they have to change (ie just cleaner or differently). Who's Russia sending?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI
    Jaime said on Olympic Ice that she thought no one would ever do a 3ax throw successfully and that she had interviewed a lot of the Olympic pairs' ladies about it and most said they would be afraid to even try it. She said the takeoff with the man having to be in the way was 'the most awkward thing' in pair skating. So that's why Shen and Zhao went for the 4S th at Salt Lake and Zhang and Zhang went for the 4S th in Turin rather than going for the 3A th at all. Both these tricks are scary hard.

    I was not happy with any of the performances tonight and I'm going to just go soak my head and try to recover. And here I thought I had missed Skating with Celebrities. Strange stuff and blood and guts.

    It's ironic that I&B got their appropriate PCS for this program rather than their SP (skating skills 6.96). It's strange to think they would have been in 4th going into the long if they had, but would still have finished in 7th either way. Still, good for them for getting a personal best in both the SP and LP and finishing the highest they ever have in World level competition at Olympics and for making history. I rewatched their LP program and found that it wasn't as bad as I had first thought--I was mentally comparing it to their great LP program at Nationals. I hope they go to worlds and skate their SP as at Turin and LP as at St. Louis. They need to keep the 2 spots open so Nam & Leftheris have a chance to go next year!!. Does anyone know whether they are retiring this year?

    Poor T&M got upstaged on the short by John and Rena and then got upstaged on the long by the Zhangs ER drama. I can't believe that she went out and landed the 2A3t after that horrific fall. I have to run my tape back and watch them again...

    T&M-it always bores me when someone picks to do lower tech level stuff than the best and wins, particularly when skating carefully and not too inspiringly. I also really, really love great lifts and T&M don't have them. I still prefer their Ave Maria short and their Art on Ice long to either of their programs this year, and this was not their best performance of their LP. They are better when the theme of the program is not supposed to be romantic drama R&J yet, and the subtext of their Snowstorm program was supposed to be romantically freezing to death, but I thought (never having heard the story till after the program) they were two frost sprites spreading snow. But they surely did deserve the win.,
    BUT they are not a patch on the pants of either Jaime and David or Elena and Anton. Go view your Salt Lake 2002 tapes again. Elena and Anton's Oly SP is still the best SP I have ever seen. And both their LP's were better than T&M's. Sorry, but it's so. I do not predict that they will unseat any of the 3 SOI pairs.

    And what has happened to O&S...and the judges have finally dumped them too. Will someone please tell me who the Russian pair for 2010 is going be...It is apparent the O&S are not it unless they make huge changes...
    I always love reading your posts! I'm not sure how I feel one way or the other about any of the performances I saw. Unfortunately and typically, I didn't tape so I'll have to download to re-watch and evaluate. I will say that I liked T/M long program THIS season way more than I thought I would....i actually started seeing some connection between them and with the audience, really like the music cuts, and really appreciate their unison and line...the Olympic version of it left me cold, but I admire their tenancity and for sure they got the job done. I can't yet comment on the rest.

    BUT, I do have a question, what did happen to O&S? were they even there? I didn't see any clips of them nor did I see any camera shots of Moskovina, whom I adore.

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    I saw a video from the practises in Torino where Z&Z did an almost perfect throw quad salchow.
    What really made me angry was on eurosport when they interviewed T&M after Z&Zs skate and asked what she thought about their skate and what she thought about them continueing skating after her horrible fall. She said something like "the chinese couples are very agressive at warmups and aren't really letting them do their things and that they made their own choice by continueing after the fall". That was very upsetting, even if the chinese couples were a little agressive or whatever, that was not the question. She seemed kinda happy for their fall and everything. That was low...REALLY low...

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    My thoughts on pairs:
    Pang and Tong did the most impossible, impressive technical feat of the Chinese pairs: PERFECT side by side spins with numerous changes of postion. WOW. As far as I am concerned , that is more impressive than any of those big throws and twists b.c the Chinese pairs have no clue how to stay in unison on spins. I'm not technic for pairs, but I thought their performance should have been good enough for a medal. They had the best program of the Chinese pairs.

    Zhangs: Good for her that she could continue to skate as well as she did. Though with all the pairs living together and their strict rules,I suspect there would have been a lot of shame had she not been able to continue.

    Shen and Zhao: At least they got a medal.

    PetTikhs: Best skaters in the competition. Why were they permitted to skate to the WORSE FP in the competition. Does the Russian Fed hate them or something? I feel bad that they had all those troubles b/c they seem like nice people. I think they'll make wonderful coaches.

    T&M: I think that ever since Russia stopped churning out the pairs, the top Russian team has been skating with a lot of pressure to uphold the dynasty because there is no second pair to fall back on. No pair wants to be the pair that loses the title. B&S were tight, as well as T&M. Tatiana is a particular nervous skater who does a good job of holding in her feelings. I always get the impression that they are breathing a sigh of relief when they finish. Though Doris might complain about the lack of difficulty, quite frankly I can't tell the difference and prefer to see a pair perfectly in unison and able to skate on the ice as well as do the tricks. T&M outclassed the Chinese pairs.

    While coach Yao has been able to replicate the Soviet model of creating pairs, he has not been able to replicate the quality of the pairs that came out of the Soviet Union. I hope Russia will step it up and put some money into pairs because they will lose the title the next Olympics. Maybe Vassiliev will take on a top junior team and help to mold them. He has done an excellent job with T&M.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emma
    BUT, I do have a question, what did happen to O&S? were they even there? I didn't see any clips of them nor did I see any camera shots of Moskovina, whom I adore.
    Yes they were there and i thought they had a great SP which showed flashes of a true Moskvina trained couple - excellent unison, smooth stroking and nice flow across the ice. They had problems with their unison on the SBS spins in the SP but i think that was about it.

    The LP was a totally different story though...the closest thing i can compare it to was remember the year that CoP was introduced into the GP but not used in teh championships...at the Europeans that year (was it Dortmund...actually that might have been worlds?) O&S had the most technically challenging CoP friendly program of all the pairs...it was teh most frightening pairs program i have ever seen, i thought one or both were destined to be hospitalised. That was what their LP was like. It was full of technically challenging elements and skating that all done sloppily and scarily. Because of the jump rule change they had to actually attempt SBS double axels which Obertas struggles with and did. I then think he had a prblem with teh SBS 3T. Thy missed oneo f the throws (i think the flip) and had a scratchy landing on the other. I think the SBS spins went badly out of unison but the scariest of all the elements was surely the lifts. The year at Europeans tha ti referred to earlier i wrote about their LP being like the Hokey Kokey because the lifts where up down, up down, fling her all about.

    Last night's LP was the same - getting her up into difficult positions and changing positions, then scrabbling around to stop the rotation and rotate the other way, then scrabble about to get her into a carry position for the end of the lift. His footwork was not clean on teh lifts which made them scratchy and scary and the worst one for me was a carry type lift (but i thnk it was overhead) that is like the dance teams are doing where the man, to add to the difficulty, picks one foot up off the ice but barely gets it a couple of inches off the ice doesn't extend it or point the toe...it was one of those and i was sure she was a goner.

    I think they're one of those coulpes that when they're on, boy are they on and when they're off...sweet lord call the ambulance.

    Ant

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    I have never cared for T/M's skating. Yes, they may have fluidity and all of that across the ice, but they always seemed too detached from their music and each other for me. That's just the way it goes. Different strokes for different folks.

    Personally my favorite was S/Z out of the top pairs. But I actually enjoyed watching the Polish pairs team, the German pairs team and Parchem/Hinzeman more than the top teams. None of them had a chance, so their programs were much more interesting and pleasing to me. And they actually looked like they enjoyed skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swannanoa54
    I have never cared for T/M's skating. Yes, they may have fluidity and all of that across the ice, but they always seemed too detached from their music and each other for me. That's just the way it goes. Different strokes for different folks.

    Personally my favorite was S/Z out of the top pairs. But I actually enjoyed watching the Polish pairs team, the German pairs team and Parchem/Hinzeman more than the top teams. None of them had a chance, so their programs were much more interesting and pleasing to me. And they actually looked like they enjoyed skating.
    I agree with (almost) every word of this. People always talk about how T&M outclass everyone, but I think that is actually exactly the case with Shen&Zhao. No other pair moves me like they do and IMO, they are the only pair who can combine great artistry/expression and technical difficulty. And IMO , that's what it takes to be an Olympic winner and I honestly believe that if it had not been for Zhao's injury, they would have beaten T&M.

    And I find the polish team so adorable..It's a shame they 're never placed high.

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